Compost (Organics) Collection Program

Of the 39 million tons of waste disposed of in California landfills in 2018, one third of this was compostable (organic) materials. When compostable materials such as food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings are disposed in landfills, they decompose and produce methane, a climate change greenhouse gas contributor 80x more potent than carbon dioxide. 

Starting January 1, 2022, the State of California, Alameda County and the City of Union City require residents and businesses to separate and keep recyclable and compostable materials out of landfills under the State’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383). This law aims to address climate change by reducing the amount of recyclable and compostable materials sent to landfills by 75% by January 1, 2025. 

Senate Bill (SB) 1383 is implemented in Alameda County under the county-wide Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance and in Union City under Municipal Code Chapter 7.24, in partnership with Republic Services, Tri-CED Community Recycling, and Stop Waste. 

Why Should I Compost?

When Union City residents and businesses place compostable materials like food scraps in their green compost bin/cart, they not only reduce methane emissions, but they also create compost - a valuable soil amendment that retains moisture, conserves water, and nourishes plants and trees.

Multi-family Property Owners and Managers: To learn more the SB 1383 requirements and what the law means for your property, click here

What is Accepted in the Green Compost Bin/Cart?

UC Compost Poster 2022 FINAL - ENG Opens in new window Food scraps including: 

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Bread, pasta, and other grains
  • Fruits and vegetables along with peels, skins, pits, and rinds
  • Bones and shells
  • Tea leaves and coffee grounds. 

Wet and grease/food-soiled paper products and compostable products including: 

  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Coffee filters and teabags 
  • Grease-soiled pizza boxes
  • Paper cups, bowls, plates
  • BPI-certified compostable products. 

Yard trimmings including: 

  • Untreated wood such as broken wood pallets/crates
  • Small branches
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Grass
  • Weeds and brush.

What is Prohibited in the Green Compost Bin/Cart?

Recyclable and landfill materials are prohibited in the green compost bin/cart as per California’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383) and Union City Municipal Code Chapter 7.24. Recyclable and landfill materials must be sorted and placed in the appropriate containers. Other prohibited items include:

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Plastic bags, film, wrap, and containers
  • Styrofoam products
  • Snack packaging
  • Non-compostable straws and utensils,
  • Diapers and personal hygiene products
  • Pet waste
  • Palm fronds
  • Treated wood (painted or stained)
  • Asphalt, concrete, dirt, brick, and construction and demolition debris.

It is illegal to dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW) such as chemicals, cleaners, fertilizers, paint, pesticides, propane tanks, sharps, and electronic waste in your recycle, compost, and landfill carts. HHW materials require careful disposal by a certified facility. Safely dispose of HHW for free at an Alameda County HHW Drop-off Facility or at County-sponsored events throughout the year. For drop-off facility locations, hours, and a list of accepted items, call (800) 606-6606 or visit

Visit our Multi-Family Publications & Resources page to learn more about waste prevention, how to properly sort materials, and other available programs and services. 

KitchenPail-Food-ScrapsFood Scraps Kitchen Pail

Multi-family property residents should contact their property owner/manager to request a Food Scraps Kitchen Pail at no additional cost to collect and store food scraps and food-soiled paper. Limit one Kitchen Pail per household. Use this Kitchen Pail to collect all food scraps and food-soiled paper until you are ready to empty the contents into the shared outdoor green compost bin/cart along with yard trimmings.

Pro tip: Line your Kitchen Pail with paper towels, newspaper, kraft paper, or a BPI-certified compostable bag to keep it clean. Do not place food scraps in non-compostable plastic bags.

How Do I Establish or Improve My Compost Collection Program?

Multi-family property owners and managers can request free technical assistance from dedicated recycling coordinators at Republic Services and Tri-CED Community Recycling to help start or improve your property's recycle and/or compost collection program, comply with State and local regulations, and realize potential cost savings. Free technical assistance includes:

  • Assistance signing up for mandatory recycle and/or compost collection services. 
  • Waste assessments to determine the optimal collection service level for your property and potentially achieve cost savings. Did you know? Subscribing to recycle and compost collection services may help your business realize cost savings as recycle and compost collection services cost 40% less than comparable landfill (garbage) collection service.  
  • Decals - Technical AssistanceStaff trainings to ensure proper sorting, share best practices, and to answer questions.
  • Setting up indoor color-coded and labeled collection containers.
  • Educational materials such as posters, service guides, and outdoor/indoor container decals to educate employees, contractors, and/or tenants on proper sorting. 
  • General support to help your multi-family community maximize recycling opportunities and to reduce waste.

Contact your haulers today and request to speak with a dedicated recycling coordinator for free technical assistance!

Republic ServicesTri-CED Community Recycling

  • Phone: (510) 429-8030
  • Email: 
  • Customer Service Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

For additional information and resources including how to order free indoor decals and customized signs, contact StopWaste at (510) 891-6575 (leave message for call back) or email

How Do I Reduce Food Waste? 

Waste less food, eat well, save money, and save valuable resources used to produce and distribute food by making small changes in how you shop, prepare, and store food. Find resources, tips, and recipes to make the most of your food at

Why else should we care food waste? A family of 4 in the United States wastes an average of almost $2,000 per year on food that isn't eaten, while at the same time, 1 in 4 households in Alameda County are in need of food assistance. Watch this video produced by StopWaste in partnership with Bay Area Green Tours to learn about three local leaders whose unique connections to food heal and sustain their communities, and take away some simple tips to make the most of food resources in your own home. 

More Information?

When in doubt, find out! Visit our Multi-Family Publications & Resources page to learn more about waste prevention, proper sorting, and other available programs and services. For more information about Union City's curbside collection program, call Union City Recycles at (510) 675-5433.